Lynton Crosby

The importance of message discipline

Andrew Little and Labour would have had this week planned out nicely or, more to?the?point, they should have. It was a return to parliament after recess and straight after the rejection of a flag change; something the Prime Minister campaigned long and hard on.

Unfortunately, it has all been derailed by a lack of message discipline.

Danyl?McLauchlan explains:

I have this theory that MMP and the list process hasn?t been that great for the left. The way a lot of our MPs get elected is very indirect. The party campaigns externally to get the public to give them party votes, and the MPs (mostly) get into Parliament by campaigning internally to get high positions on the list. Obviously I?can?t be sure, but I suspect that if Sue Moroney was directly accountable to the voters she probably wouldn?t wander around taking photos of random stranger?s homes and shaming them on social media. Also, she?d probably grasp that social media comms should be part of a strategy, and?that the number of persuadable voters reading tweets/facebook posts/whatever is zero while the number of National Party staffers monitoring the social media feeds of left-wing MPs looking for content to attack the party with is higher than zero.

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February INCITE: Politics due shortly


Final edits are underway and our bumper February edition ?of INCITE: Politics will shortly be on its way to your inbox.

This month we have some new contributors, plus the first INCITE/Curia poll of the year. Who is up? Who is down? And what are the implications of their numbers for their parties?

We also continue to look at potential leadership candidates across the parties and ask our 10 questions of David Seymour.

Following on from Lynton Crosby’s lecture about political truisms we look at how that applies to Labour, especially with regard to leadership and economic competence. ? Read more »

Lynton Crosby tears apart dopey Labour and their equally dopey review process

Lynton Crosby, the man who destroyed Labour’s hopes at the last election in the UK,?castigates the post-mortem into their loss.

IBTimes UK reports:

Labour’s post-mortem into its devastating general election defeat has been slammed as “arrogant” by Sir Lynton Crosby. The Conservative political strategist, speaking at a Centre for Opposition Studies’ event at Westminster University attended by IBTimes UK, also accused former Labour leader Ed Miliband and his party of attempting to “flop over the line” at the May ballot.

“[Labour’s] approach, by and large, predicated on the belief that the Conservative Party could not win — ‘if they could not win in 2010, they certainly can’t win in 2015. All we, the opposition, need to do is stay upright and we will flop over the line’,” Crosby said.

“They never did the work on developing a credible policy agenda, they stuck with a leader who most voters would never see as prime minister and most importantly, they never really faced up to why they lost in 2010 or admitted [inaudible] that they got things wrong.” ? Read more »

Herald editor: “Labour MP Kelvin Davis is right”

Mediaworks and NZME really have drunk the anti-government Kool-Aid.

Labour MP Kelvin Davis is right. It is disingenuous of John Key to say Australia’s detainees at Christmas Island are free to leave if they want. They can leave only to return to New Zealand, where they could continue their appeal against deportation from Australia. Mr Key has been assured by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that their chances would not be reduced by coming back here. But they are probably thinking yeah, right.

The detainees have a better chance by staying on Australian territory, albeit a hot, desolate island in the Indian Ocean where this week they have staged something of a riot.

Bit of truth accidentally sneaking though there: ?staged a riot. ? The very New Zealanders Kelvin Davis has been “predicting” would be rioting for some weeks in advance.

Deportation on the scale the Australian Government is undertaking cannot be quick or cheap. Each detainee will have to be escorted to the point of departure. It hardly seems worth the cost, let alone the damage to Australia’s international reputation, when incidents such as the Christmas Island riot occur.

Some Australians are saying so, but many more must be solidly behind the Liberal-National Coalition’s hard line on expat Kiwis who have committed criminal offences. The fact they and their families may have been Australian residents for most of the offender’s life cut no ice with Mr Turnbull when he was here. Read more »

Advice for Andrew Little: Stop digging

I notice with a mixture of disbelief?and delight that the Labour Party are going all-in on the Christmas Island issue, just like they did with the ugly persecution of house buyers with Chinky sounding names, like Young. ? And the result will be another slow-motion train wreck for us all to enjoy.

Kelvin has been demoted. ?Angry Andy is now going over to Australia to do the job properly.

Opposition leader Andrew Little is preparing to do what he says the Government has failed to by heading to Canberra in person and pleading expatriate New Zealanders’ case at the heart of Australia’s Government.

Amid high tension in Parliament yesterday over Labour’s advocacy for deportees, Mr Little confirmed he would appear before an Australian select committee in two weeks’ time to lobby for expats’ rights.

In a rare move, Mr Little will urge Australian MPs in person to address discrimination against Kiwis who live and pay tax in Australia but receive little state support. …

The main focus of Labour’s submission will be on unfair treatment of New Zealanders across the Tasman.

But Mr Little said his submission would also be coloured by recent events involving New Zealanders at Australian detention centres.

“It wasn’t our intention to focus on the detention issue but it may well be that it’s difficult to avoid that,” he said.

Angry Andy is going to go tell off the Australians for implementing a policy that Helen Clark agreed to. ?Good luck with that. ? Read more »

The delusions of Rob Salmond and the left-wing

One thing you need to do as a political commentator is be able to see the other side’s point of view without assuming they will do and act as you would.

The Left-wing are having conniptions over John Key calling out Labour in parliament?for being crim hugging activists and lobbying on behalf of people who are firstly criminals and secondly people who don’t even want to be in New Zealand. They’ve even coined a stupid little label?for them…501s…named after the section?of Australian law that saw them extradited.

Either that or they are promoting Levis???

In any case the dopey ‘poll supremo’ of Labour, the man who came up with Chinkygate, which worked so well for Labour, has decided to call out the Prime Minister.

John Key?s strategic supremo is Lynton Crosby, from the Australian firm Crosby/Textor. Crosby has a trick in his bag called the ?dead cat strategy.? Here?s Boris Johnson, one of Crosby?s British clients, describing it in 2013:

If you?re losing an argument, if you?re in a weak position, throw a dead cat on the table, the London mayor wrote.

?Everyone will shout ?Jeez, mate, there?s a dead cat on the table!?; in other words they will be talking about the dead cat, the thing you want them to talk about, and they will not be talking about the issue that has been causing you so much grief.?

Today, John Key threw a dead cat into the middle of New Zealand?s Parliament.

John Key knew he was in a weak position today for two reasons. First, his deliberate inaction in the face of disgraceful treatment of expat New Zealanders by Australia is a dereliction of his duty, as his many advisers will be telling him.

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Labour’s problems and a possible solution, Chris Trotter explains

Chris Trotter analyses Labour’s problems and discusses a possible solution to their woes.

THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has cast a deep pall of gloom over all three Opposition parties. Among Labour supporters, however, a growing sense of utter futility is palpable. Support for the party has crashed back to the abysmal figures of Election Night. Barely a quarter of the adult population is willing to identify Labour as their first electoral choice.

The corollary to Opposition gloom is, of course, Government elation. And, with the Roy Morgan poll showing National on 54 percent, who can blame its MPs and supporters for breaking out the bubbly? Remember, this latest poll was conducted when Amanda Bailey?s ponytail was dominating the headlines. Did it damage the Prime Minister?s reputation? (As so many of John Key?s enemies were hoping.) Not appreciably. ?Teflon John? continues to shine.

The problems are well known, we just saw them repeated in?the?UK. Doing more of the same is no longer an option.

At around the same time as Roy Morgan?s callers were working the phones, Sir Michael Cullen and the NZ Fabian Society were attempting to rally Labour?s dejected troops with a presentation entitled, rather hopefully, ?Destination: Next Progressive Majority.? Arriving at that destination, says Sir Michael, will depend on whether Labour is able to re-present itself as the party of Choice, Aspiration, Responsibility and National Pride.

For that re-presentation to work, Sir Michael stresses, Labour must re-connect emotionally with the electorate. ?Policies can be a means to this?, says the former Labour Finance Minister, ?but rarely the most important means.? In saying this, Sir Michael is echoing the?advice of Lynton Crosby ? the man who, earlier this month, won the UK General Election for the Conservative Party. Policy matters, says Crosby, only inasmuch as it expresses the less tangible and more visceral reasons for supporting one political party over another.

?This is Key?s huge strength?, Sir Michael observes, ?he has enormous emotional connection with voters. The sloppy language we like to make fun of is the language most people speak, not like University lecturers like Helen, Steve and I. The casualness to turn things aside, not important, at the end of the day.?

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One vision…and koalas

That was the song that won the election for the Tories….as well as koalas and a fair bit of elbow grease.

A five minute walk from the Commons lies the Conservatives? headquarters, arranged over the basement and ground floor of Number 4 Matthew Parker Street.

Inside was the ?war room? from which the election was fought – an open plan office at street level, which natural daylight was not permitted to penetrate (the blinds were permanently drawn to protect the inner sanctum from prying eyes).

At what Tory staff came to call ?the power pod? in the middle of the office sat Mr Crosby, along with the heads of the Tory campaigning, communications, digital, and research departments.

There was never any question about who was in charge. With Mr Cameron often away touring the country, Mr Crosby?s reign was absolute. But his genial style engendered immense loyalty among his troops. He was serious but never grand, informal in his manner, but always focused.

?He could have had his own office but he sat in the middle, and it was open plan,? one insider says. ?He?ll talk to anyone, from the intern to the Prime Minister, and he?ll call everyone ‘mate?, like a normal Aussie bloke. That actually makes a difference to the atmosphere because he?s very approachable.?

As polling day drew nearer, Mr Crosby would treat his colleagues to bursts of what became the unofficial campaign song: One Vision by Queen. He would turn up the volume on the speakers on his computer and blast out the music to the room.

Another innovation ? to raise morale ? was the ?koala of the day?. A senior colleague explained: ?Lynton would give a furry koala to someone who had done something particularly brilliant that day.?

In the war room, work began before dawn, and the office was manned until late at night. Mr Crosby chaired his first meeting every day during the campaign at 5.45am, with a handful of senior strategists.

Another meeting would follow at 6.30am to draw up firmer plans for the day, before the third meeting at 7.30 each morning, at which Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne would be present, often via conference calls from far flung parts of the country where they would be campaigning.

The PM and Chancellor would listen to the plans, make observations of their own and then approve the strategy as recommended by Mr Crosby, who chaired every meeting, even when Mr Cameron was present.

A few hundred yards away, at Labour headquarters in Brewer?s Green, Mr Miliband?s team had not yet turned up for work. The Labour campaign?s first meeting did not start until 7.45am, two hours after Mr Crosby had begun setting priorities for the day.

For staffers working late at Tory HQ, food would be provided each night, usually a curry or other take-away delivered to the door, to keep them fuelled and ready to respond to breaking news and enquiries from candidates.

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Lynton Crosby explains how British voters were betrayed by the political classes

Lynton Crosby in an interview with The Telegraph tells it how it is…and when you are the guy who designed the strategy that won I guess you do get to tell your story.

After all who wants to hear from Ed Miliband’s strategist other than Andrew Little?

The architect of David Cameron?s election victory has savaged Britain?s political class for badly misjudging the result, saying it was their ?judgment day and they lost?.

In his first interview with the Telegraph, Lynton Crosby, Mr Cameron?s Australian election strategist, suggests that public opinion polls be banned during the final three weeks of future campaigns.

He also takes aim at the political commentators who accused him of running a ?negative? campaign saying that the incorrect “wall of noise” produced by experts and public pollsters had threatened to derail the ultimately successful campaign.

Mr Crosby accused political commentators of just wanting ?entertainment? from politics and said that the ?last time they met a punter was when they picked up their dry cleaning?.

?They were tested and found wanting,? Mr Crosby said.

Reminds me of this clip:

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Being called the “Designated Bastard” is the most awesome job description

The Guardian has done a hit job on Lynton Crosby but they have given him the most awesome job description.

It would be easy then for David Cameron to give up on Mr Crosby and his promise of good polls ahead; except, he can?t. Lynton Crosby is his Designated Bastard, the man his party has paid fistfuls of money to order all of them about and get them to do whatever it takes to win. It?s the stuff of tradition for Tory governments to get in an expensive Designated Bastard at election time; it?s the line of life, a cycle of comfort. The Designated Bastard arrives, tells them not to be pussies, puts up posters about Labour?s tax bombshells, flashes up cartoons of the Labour leader in the pocket of someone, or being the poodle of someone, sitting on someone?s lap, wearing someone?s hair, or being stuck up someone?s arse.

Usually, the party pays devoted attention to the Designated Bastard. First, because he?s so expensive but really because he?s such a Bastard. He gets them to do things they?ve spent the past five years being ordered not to under any circumstances. For five years, they?ve been clenching their teeth and talking about partnership and coalition. They?ve been pushing Big Societies and feeling everyone?s pain by sobbing that we?re all in it together. ?? Read more »